I know that I am not alone when I say, “I can’t sleep.” Too many thoughts are going through my head, like everyone else right now.

On a personal level, something happened in our lives, changing it forever. When I received the phone call from my sister-in-law, one reality stopped, and a new one began. My beloved father in-law passed away last week. I can’t believe I even write these words. I had no idea how I would tell my husband when he walked in the door.

II still don't know how I did it still don’t know how I did it, or if I did it in the way that I was supposed to. These are not things that a person plans or even thinks about. My sweet, kind father in-law lived a beautiful, full life, doing so many acts of kindness, thank G‑d. He passed away at an old age with no sickness, no warning, no preparation.

My husband began a week-long process called shiva. But at the same time that our personal world had changed, the universe was also changing around us.


My husband comes from a large family. Never would I have imagined that he would be sitting as a mourner alone. We are in Israel, and my husband’s entire family is in Mexico City. My husband would have hopped on the first plane and flown to be with them, but with the raging worldwide pandemic, it wasn’t possible.

And so, very unexpectedly this past week (not that anything can be expected), he sat alone.

I am a childbirth educator, a doula and a trauma therapist. I am a mother. I am in a constant state of living a life that has many plans and yet no plans at all. When I teach about birth, I explain that you can never imagine what your birth experience will actually look like. We prepare, we make plans, but ultimately, we have no idea what will be. The time and moment? In G‑d’s hands. Really, everything is in G‑d’s hands.

It was the strangest sight to see how my husband sat here in Jerusalem alone while his brothers and uncles sat on the other side of the world.

A virus and an empty airport separating worlds and families.

Yes, my husband was alone, but thank G‑d, we are together. The whole world, too, is in this together.

We have our personal moments that change a person’s life forever, and now we have a universal moment that has changed our lives forever. The moment before the virus and the moment after.

People are suffering. There is personal suffering and world suffering. People are afraid for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. They are afraid about their livelihoods. I personally know of weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and other life events that are now happening in very different ways than previously planned.

We plan, and then we see that nothing goes according to plan. No, that’s not true. It does go according to “a plan”—just not “our plan.” It goes according to G‑d’s plan.

So, who is sleeping these days? Who isn’t thinking and thinking and thinking? And last night, all night, I thought and I thought and then I thought, “What should I do with all these thoughts?”

I didn’t want to get out of bed when a sentence from the wisest of all men, King Solomon, came to me: “Many are the thoughts in a person’s heart, but the counsel of G‑d, it shall stand (Proverbs 19:21).” We do our part, but the results are all up to Him.

IWe are burdened by so many anxieties and fears replayed the phrase and remembered a different way of understanding it. “Many are the thoughts in a man’s heart, but the advice of G‑d stands!” Get up! And I jumped out of bed.

We are burdened by so many anxieties and fears. What does G‑d tell us to do? Get up, stand, do something.

On Monday, the last day of shiva, my husband, who had been sitting on a low seat on the floor as is the custom of a mourner, was helped by a consoler to get up. He got up, and we continue our life in the way that we can.

This is how we need to combat the uncertainty that we are all feeling right now as our thoughts race and we can’t sleep at night: Get up. Keep going.

During this topsy-turvy time, I decided to do whatever I can to be positive and calm in my home. I want to be a pillar of strength and faith for my children and husband, and reach out to others in any way that I can. Even though so many of us are trapped in our homes or in our thoughts, we need to have faith in G‑d that He, He has a plan. He is telling us, “Don’t stay trapped in those fears. Do something.”

And we are. It’s beautiful to see how many people are saying Psalms and praying and listening to classes from afar. There is so much that we can do. We can reach out to someone on the phone and ask them how they are doing. We can cook and clean, and keep our families and ourselves positive and together. We can continue with our Passover preparations; we can keep learning and growing.

We are alone, and yet we are together. It’s time to do whatever we can.

May these words be dedicated to the memory of my dear father in-law, R’ Avraham ben Mazel Mizrahi, z”l.